Darien founder’s grave honored by Daughters of the American Revolution chapter
On Saturday, June 27, Darien’s Good Wife’s River Chapter of the DAR marked the grave of Revolutionary War soldier, patriot and Darien’s town founder, Thaddeus Bell Jr., (born March 18, 1759, in Stamford; died Oct. 31, 1851, in Darien). A prisoner of war, and a surveyor of highways, Bell served as a private and sergeant in the Connecticut Line of the Continental Army and is buried beside his wife, the former Elizabeth Howe, in Slawson’s Cemetery.
A brief graveside ceremony was conducted before unveiling the DAR Patriot Marker, which was gifted to Darien by the local DAR Chapter. CT DAR State Treasurer and Good Wife’s River Chapter Historian and Honorary Regent Katherine Love was instrumental in obtaining approval for this marker from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C. She served as master of ceremonies for this chapter event, which marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of Darien’s Good Wife’s River Chapter DAR on June 10, 1960. The grave marking was planned to commemorate this important chapter event and First Selectman Jayme Stevenson prepared a proclamation commemorating this 60-year milestone. NSDAR President General Denise Doring VanBuren also sent congratulations and best wishes in a special letter to the Darien chapter.
As originally planned, members of the Bell family, town officials, CTDAR members, Darien’s Bicentennial Committee members and state officials and dignitaries along with the public were invited to the grave marking. However, social distancing and the governor’s guidelines limited this gathering. First Selectman Stevenson, Bicentennial Committee Chairman Alan Miller, Darien Historical Society President Bob Pascal and the society’s executive director, Margaret McIntire, represented Darien. The marker will be rededicated in 2021 as part of Darien’s delayed Bicentennial Celebration when the public will be invited.
NSDAR past Curator General, CTDAR Honorary Regent, Jennie Rehnberg; CTDAR State Vice Regent, Patricia Buxton; Historian, Jacqueline Fenelon, and SW District Director, Mary Bendix represented the CTDAR. Local DAR Chapter Regent Nicole Gorman; Honorary Regent Karen Polett, Chaplain Carol Wilder-Tamme participated in the program as did Bell family descendant, Sue Sherwood. Tombstone restorer and Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of CT AF & AM, Andrew Melillo, also attended as did Darien chapter daughters.
In celebration of Constitution Week, Sept. 17 to 24, 2015, Darien’s Good Wife’s River DAR Chapter raised funds and placed a Revolutionary War Memorial Marker in the Veterans Circle at Town Hall. This marker honors Revolutionary ancestors from this area who fought in that War.
Membership in the DAR is open to any woman over the age of 18 who can trace her direct lineage to a male or female patriot whose last act was to serve or give material aid to the cause of American independence during the Revolutionary War. Contact the regent for more information.